It Truly Takes a Village

Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.

In Kansas, there are more than 6,500 children placed into out of home care.  There are approximately 2,000 foster homes in Kansas.  This disparity means that children from your community are being placed outside of their home community, or in shelters.

Children who are placed outside their home community in one day lose their parents, family, school friends, teachers, coaches, and sense of connection to their community.  They frequently miss school so they can have visits, or they don’t see family because they need to be in school.  This sense of loss is compounded when they cannot be placed with their brothers and sisters due to no one having enough room.

quote

You're giving a home to a kid who needs one. You're giving love to a kid who feels unloved.

– The Brazeal’s

What Foster Parents Do

Foster parents are needed for all ages in Kansas, but especially for siblings sets and teenagers. Currently, the average age of a child needing placed in Kansas is 9.3 years old. Of all the children in TFI homes, 63% of children are white,  21% are African American,  14% are Hispanic,  1% Native American,  and .5% Asian.

TFI has a need for all foster parents, but specifically those who are African American. Despite 21% of the youth placed in TFI homes being African American, only 9% of TFI Kansas foster parents are African American.

TFI also has a need for foster parents in Kansas willing to take teenage placements. TFI currently has 464 licensed foster homes in Kansas and only 2% of those homes are interested ONLY in taking teen placements (other foster homes take younger placements and teenagers). Of the 559 placements in TFI Kansas homes, 40% of those placements are teenagers.

As a foster family, you may be asked to:

  • Provide temporary care, love, and nurturance to children while serving as a mentor to their parent. This could include actively helping the parent improve on their parenting abilities. The foster parent assists in helping the children transition home, to a legal guardianship, or adoption by another family, while keeping the child in contact with their kin, culture and community.
  • Serve as the legal guardian for children while maintaining the children’s contact to kin, culture, and community.
  • Adopt the children while maintaining the children’s contact to kin, culture and community.

Requirements to be a Traditional Foster Parent in Kansas

  • must have the ability to love, understand, care for and accept a child to whom they did not give birth
  • must be at least 21 years of age
  • may be married, single, legally separated, divorced, or domestic partnership
  • must be in good physical and mental health to provide for the needs of the child
  • must  have sufficient income to meet current expenses
  • must be able to provide sufficient beds and bedrooms for  additional children
  • must submit KBI and CANIS checks
  • Applicants and each household member, 18 years of age or older, submits fingerprints for a state and national criminal history records search
  • must ensure that no household member has a prior conviction of any sexual offense
  • must have a working vehicle and a telephone (this can be a cell phone)
  • must be a legal resident
  • must attend 30 hours of Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting or 21 hours of Deciding Together training